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Musings

Goodbye Jenna!

This month we say goodbye to Blueprint100 Curatorial Team Member Jenna Macrory as she ventures off to Newcastle to begin her degree in Traditional Music. She has written a few words discussing her experience of working at Blueprint100 and her journey through different projects. We wanted to say a huge thank you to Jenna for all her amazing work over the last 2 years – we will miss you!

Jenna Macrory

Starting this role in November 2016 following on from my Nithraid internship, Blueprint provided a natural progression. After Nithraid, I knew that I wanted to work in the arts but was lost as to what my next step should be. Blueprint100 provided a paid role to work and develop projects but also to work and develop myself as an artist. Through Blueprint, I was able to host events, workshops and experiences for young people and give back to my town.

As a musician I was able to explore other job prospects in the music industry like event management and sound engineering. Being able to explore these other routes of working within the creative industry is essential for young people today as in schools the focus is pushed so heavily on STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematic) based careers. This leaves a stigma that there are not viable career options within this sector, which is not true. It is absolutely essential that young people are made aware of this and also people that live in rural regions are able to access the arts.

Prior to working for blueprint I didn’t see much in Dumfries. I saw an anchor to my creativity but now as someone that is about to go to university in a city I don’t want to leave. Part of the magic of Dumfries is that is an unfinished project and getting to play a part in the development of Dumfries has been incredible and I’m very grateful that I was able to play a part in that. 

Looking forward I’m really excited to come back to Dumfries and Galloway and see where this town is. Projects like Midsteeple Quarter and Rosefield Mills are set to revitalise parts of the town which I believe will change the dynamics of the town and set us on track for the future.

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News

Meet Ruari – Music Stage Manager at this year’s Nithraid!

Earlier this month, we selected a young local musician to undertake music stage management at this year’s Nithraid River Festival on Saturday 11th August. Ruari Barber-Fleming from Castle Douglas has been selected to run the small acoustic stage that is held as part of the festival to showcase up and coming talent from around the region. The previous years have included regulars from the Stove’s monthly open mic nights, Brave New Words, as well as other musicians who are based within Dumfries & Galloway.

Ruari has been involved in the Dumfries music scene for several years now, having previously played in local band ‘Gracefell’ as well as photographing live music and working with various artists around the region. He is hoping that through this opportunity he will be able to deliver something unique for the visitors to Nithraid and believes that the stage is a great platform to showcase some local talent.

Ruari feels very positively about the music scene in Dumfries and feels it has been thriving the past few years with a gig frequency that is extremely impressive for the size of the region that it is. He is very passionate about originality and sincerity when it comes to live performance of music, and from this he hopes to be able to deliver just that – performances that the audience can latch on to and connect with the artist.

The commission will provide Ruari the opportunity to work with members of the Nithraid team to gain experience of all aspects of running a music stage at a festival including programming, design/build, marketing, sound engineering and equipment hire. There will be extra opportunities to integrate and learn through this commission with support from Euan Macrory, who undertook a similar internship in 2016 and now programs events both as part of the blueprint100 Curatorial Team and other festivals such as Moniaive Folk Festival.

The Nithraid music stage will be part of the ‘Nithraid Village’ situated on the Mill Green on Saturday 11th August and will run from 12pm until 4pm. Visitors to Nithraid are also invited to join in with other activities happening in the town and around the River Nith. The Salty Coo procession will kick off the day, leaving from Fountain Square on High Street at noon and arriving at the Mill Green at approximately 12.30pm. The Nithraid Village provides a jam-packed day of family friendly activities for all ages, which includes live music, food stalls and creative workshops which include stone carving, public art, zine making, upcycling, origami, badge making and recycling.

For more information, including how to take part in the races (or anything else!), please visit www.thestove.org/nithraid